August 13, 2019 – An advisory from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has detailed how unlicensed investment firms have begun soliciting investments from social media and has used its power to lure investors in illegal money-making schemes.
“Investors are increasingly turning on social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc for information about investing,” said the SEC in a report from local paper Sun Star. Naturally, the scammers will be where the investors are. SEC has noted Facebook Pages, Groups, and Chatgroups being used for such activities.
The scammers offer “unrealistic return on investments” and they claim that the funds are being invested in forex and cryptocurrencies to justify the earning capacity.
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Local paper Sun Star has reported of these scams’ victims. One invested her money in Phoenix Trading, which has a guaranteed 100 percent profit in 15 days. Another person said she received her first payout “which prompted her to double the amount she invested” while at the same time recruiting her relatives. At some point in time, they were all blocked in the Phoenix Trading Chatgroup with its Facebook page also having disappeared.
Another person from Cebu claims to invest in Phoenix because she already fell in other investment schemes and was hoping she can recoup the money she lost “by sinking what was left of her capital in Phoenix Trading”. A Phoenix Trading rep named Ailen Villazar told them that the owner of Phoenix had been arrested, and for them to recover their investments, they need to give her more money.
Any form of investment scheme must first be duly registered with the SEC. A business license IS NOT enough. They must have a license to receive investment from the public and participate in investment schemes. This is a violation of the Securities Regulation Code and the public is encouraged to report illegal investment schemes to the authorities at email@example.com / 02-818-6337.
This article is first published on BitPinas: SEC: Scammers Usually Claim They Invest Their Funds in Forex and Crypto to Justify Earning Capacity